THE EARNED RUNS HALF MARATHON WITH ‘SAINTS’ DAYS 5K &10K Training Plan for Beginners was designed for runners. This year I converted the first 10 weeks of the plan to allow walkers to train for the 5K (St. Valentine's Day) and 10K (St. Patrick's Day) events, because I was going to walk-train rather than run-train myself.
With March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, almost here, many of the 10K competitions will have been finished by walkers on the training plan. The question that is posed now is what can walkers do afterward? Walk a Half Marathon?
I have no experience training to walk this 13.1-mile distance event or adapting a running plan to a walking training plan going forward. Should some wish to take up this challenge, I searched for plans online.
Wendy Bumgardner recently posted an article on verywellfit.com that included a 16-week plan (actually only 15 weeks of training) along with other training advice. Bumgardner lists two pre-requisites to train on the plan: 1) the ability to walk comfortably for 4 miles on a long day and for 3 miles on 3 days a week, and 2) the willingness and ability to commit to one long session/week that involves 2-5 hours.
Each week there are 3 “off” days, 1 long walk day, and 3 days of 3-4 mile walks. Sunday is the long day, but this can be adjusted to fit personal schedules by shifting the training week’s start to a day that works best. I would want to shift the long day to Friday and leave my weekends open. (a Friday to Saturday week). The longest walk is 14 miles on week #13, followed by a 2-week taper.
Other adjustments might be made. Just as with running, one day could be a hill or tempo workout. One low-mileage walking day might be swapped for a cross training day, to ‘save’ the legs from too much wear and tear. One or more of the “off’ days could be used for strength training. Mobility and stretching should be done before and after walk sessions.
The Earned Runs ‘SAINTS DAYS’ plan has walkers covering 6.5 miles as the longest distance, which could allow those who trained on it to start on week 4 of the half marathon plan rather than week 1.
The article suggests finding a walker-friendly organized race and then scheduling the start date of your plan as needed, 12-16 weeks prior to that day. If you use Earned Runs bibs you can set the date yourself.
Hal Higdon offers a free training plan that is only 12 weeks in duration, with 10 miles as the longest distance. It seems a bit too ambitious in that it may not allow safe training to avoid injury. But check it out if the Baumgardener plan doesn’t appeal to you.
I’m not sure if I will continue with the half marathon walking plan. I hope to train for an epic adventure, and this plan may be adaptable. More information will be required and a date and distance set first.
Good luck if you decide to take on the ‘half’ as a walking challenge goal!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
Note: Links to these 2 walker plans will be posted on the RESOURCES page also.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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